Lars Ulrich’s Regret About Quentin Tarantino’s Request From Metallica
It’s hard to define what a good movie is even for famous critics, but there’s no doubt that the filmmakers need to be talented and precise about some parts of their works. Along with having the right screenplay and actors, creating the perfect soundtrack in harmony with the other parts is also crucial.
Music and a scene from a movie can become inseparable, contributing a lot to its effect on the audience. As the legendary director of iconic films, ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘Jackie Brown,’ and many more, Quentin Tarantino knew the importance of finding and using the perfect songs to change or create an atmosphere in his works. He once had an interesting idea in his mind and shared it with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich.
What Did Quentin Tarantino Want From Lars Ulrich?
Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the American martial arts film entitled ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1’ released on October 10, 2003. The movie became a perfect example of paying tribute to grindhouse cinema, including samurai cinema, martial arts, blaxploitation, and Spaghetti Western. It’s not a surprising move from Tarantino, considering his endless interest and passion for Asian culture and movies.
The star-studded cast featured Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Vivica A. Fox. The film is based on a woman named Bride and her journey of seeking revenge on the assassins and their leader who tried to kill her and her unborn baby. While working on the film, Tarantino teamed up with many musicians for its soundtrack, which became an essential part of the work of art, especially the groundbreaking fight scenes. Some of them were Nancy Sinatra, The RZA, Quincy Jones, and Charlie Feathers.
However, the director also wanted to use two Metallica songs, ‘Ender Sandman’ and Sad but True,’ both from their fifth studio album known as ‘The Black Album.’ Tarantino invited Lars Ulrich to dinner and told him what was in his mind about the songs and scenes. The filmmaker planned to combine these iconic tracks with some fight scenes in ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1,’ and he made his offer to the famous drummer.
Ulrich decided to turn down Tarantino’s request after reading and not being able to follow the script; then, after the release, he regretted not realizing that it was a brilliant screenplay that would be a legend later. It was so complicated for a person who didn’t know anything about this culture and genre. Therefore, in one of his previous interviews, the Metallica drummer described it as the single mistake he made in his musical career, especially in collaboration.
In Ulrich’s words, he said:
“One of the most surreal 30 minutes of my life was having Quentin Tarantino six inches from my face, eyes dancing, intensely animated. He explained how he had written and choreographed the two main fight scenes in the film to the Metallica songs’ Enter Sandman’ and ‘Sad but True.’ Fists would impact faces on accents. Kicks would land on cymbal hits. Bodies would twirl along with the rhythm of the music. Tarantino’s next-level movie magic married to Metallica music, all turned up to 11.
We were high on this idea for the rest of the evening, and the elation continued for days. Finally, ta-da!! The Script. All 180 pages. Man, was it thick and dense? I threw myself headfirst into the shenanigans. Then something slowly started happening. Story, language, twists, turns, kung fu banter, and jargon—as I got further and further into it, I became more and more puzzled.“
“Page by page, I realized that most of this was written in a language outside of my realm of understanding. I had never encountered a narrative like this, set in a very foreign culture of martial arts and Asian myths. I couldn’t wrap my thick Danish head around it. I championed his movies and loved him as a person but at the end of the 180 pages,
I sat there somewhat bewildered and felt very uncool for not getting it. Over the next few weeks, the whole thing fizzled as I continued not trusting my instincts. In the end, I never got back to Tarantino. Probably the single biggest mistake I’ve made in the creative department.“
You can listen to the songs below.